Katie Kempter Tackles Mental Game 0 21

Albuquerque’s Katie Kempter is off to a promising start with a new focus on the mental game while playing on the Symetra Tour, the new name for the LPGA Futures Tour. She offers this update:
I’m playing a full season on the Symetra Tour (formally known as the LPGA Futures Tour) and look to qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open and maybe travel back to Asia for a couple events later this fall.
Our season has slowly gotten underway, as we have played three events since the end of March. We have the month of May off, so I’m spending my time in Albuquerque, working with my coach, Bill Harvey, and preparing for our long stretch beginning in June and ending the middle/end of September.
I’ll be playing the Colorado Women’s Open this year, the end of May, and will play in the U.S. Women’s Open qualifier at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs on June 3.
Bill and I did some great work leading up to my back-to-back events in Sarasota, Fla, and in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. As a result, I finished T12th and T14th. I was in the second-to-last pairing both weeks on the final day and got a taste of being in the hunt. The putts didn’t drop as much as I would have liked, but I’m pleased with the progress I am seeing on the course, swing wise and mentally.
This winter I began putting an emphasis on improving my mental game. I have begun to work with a man named Tim Kremer, founder of Sprit of Golf, who has helped me return back to my love for the game of golf. He has some amazing ideas and a wonderful outlook on the game. Our biggest focus has been allowing me to relax before the shot and then detaching from the shot after it has been hit, thus staying in a calm, relaxed state of mind.
I’ll continue to update as the season really begins to get underway the month of June.  I hope to see some of you out there on the links this year and happy golfing to all of you!
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Sierra Del Rio to Shutter for Two Months 0 126

Sierra del Rio Golf Course

Sierra Del Rio Golf Course, which restricted play in December to Thursday through Sunday only, will close for two months after the New Year.

The temporary closure of the 18-hole Elephant Butte golf course was announced in an email Sunday. The golf course’s food and beverage operation, also will close. Plans are to reopen on March 1, the course said.

“The course is in reasonably good condition but we want it to be in the best shape possible when we reopen,” a golf shop employee said Sunday. Maintenance crews will devote the downtime to earth and drainage work to repair damage to native areas off the playing surfaces caused by heavy rains in September, the employee said.

Sierra Del Rio, a Richard Phelps design, is the centerpiece of a retirement- and second-home community near the Rio Grande in Southern New Mexico. Its director of golf is Guy Wimberly, who retired to Elephant Butte after decades running Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque. Wimberly had no comment on the closure on Sunday.

Sierra Del Rio reduced playing days earlier this month. Winter is typically playable in Southern New Mexico, where daily highs reach into the 50s and 60s.

Sierra Del Rio is part of the Turtleback Mountain Resort. It opened in 2007 on the footprint of the old Oasis Golf Resort and is the nearest golf course to Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists to the edge of space.

The renovated course and new homes built near it provided a boost to the local economy, but homebuilding and rounds played suffered following the 2008 housing collapse.

Dan Vukelich is editor of NewMexicoGolfNews.com. Reach him at dan@newmexicogolfnews.com.